Here’s to all the special moments for 2022. I’ve included my favorite meals, podcasts, events and also challenges and changes.
Goodbye Chef Veggie Personal Chef Services in Austin
It’s been a great 14 year run! I started Chef Veggie in 2008 when my daughter was only 4 years old.
I wanted a way to help families eat great vegetarian meals at home but still have the flexibility to take care of my own family. I’ve cooked for celebrities, athletes, cancer patients, raw foodists, people with food allergies or autoimmune disease, busy entrepreneurs, vegans and their non-vegan family, and people who just hated cooking. Teaching 3rd graders at the Austin Waldorf School many years ago was such a delight. I’ll always remember volunteering with Sustainable Food Center’s fresh produce initiative for kids at local school lunch time. So many opportunities for this ambivert to develop relationships and share a more compassionate way of eating. I appreciate everyone who let me into their home and gave me the opportunity to serve you.
For the last 20 years, cooking has been my offering up to the Divine and a way to nurture others.
In 2023, I will no longer be offering personal chef services in Austin, TX. I will still be available for Cottage Bakery orders. Try out a super kawaii Neko Pan!
Why are you ending your services?
For the next couple months, my focus will be on my family’s transition to the Northeast of the US. I also HAVE to finish my cookbook, Plant-Based Pacific. My daughter will be graduating from high school and will most likely go to college in the area. We are excited at the real possibility of owning a home there especially since the Austin market has really been inflated. We’ve loved our time in Austin but we are ready for a change.
Most people don’t know that I was actually born in NY on a cold February day. Chef Veggie may make a reappearance up there!
In the meantime, I’d love to get together while I’m still here! Chef Veggie may host a special Filipino Vegan Kamayan to celebrate the cookbook and all the wonderful people who have been a part of my journey here. Stay tuned for updates!
Favorites of 2022
Vegan Food in Austin
Check out my Vegan Guide to Austin. I’ve updated with new for 2022 and said goodbye to a couple places who have been a part of the vegan community for over 10 years!
South Indian meals at Chaya’s house – My friend Chaya Rao (IG: chayas_world) is one of the most artistic and cultured people I know. She was filming some segments for her South Indian meals documentary and asked me and my husband to participate. I will always remember that special Karnataka thali and how she put a turban on my husband’s head. We love you Chaya!
Nissi Vegan – Such a great tasting vegan Mexican food restaurant run by a sweet family. Get a birria taco!
Possum Pizza – We usually make our own pizza but I really enjoyed their original flavors! Get mac and cheese on your pizza!
Maha Market – My favorite neighborhood South Austin vegan mart with such an auspicious vibe. The owners are such sweet people and they carry lots of hard to find vegan items like Nature’s Charm condensed oat milk. Grab a freeto burrito too at the Vegan Yacht and listen to the soft sounds of Krishna kirtan. Haribolo!
Tellus Joe – went with my friend Lisa to their soft opening. Delicious plant-based Oaxacan bites!
Weee! – Asian groceries delivered to your door! I’ve bought some great items via Weee including fresh ube! When I’ve been too busy to drive all the way to Hmart, getting fresh Asian produce and fun pantry items delivered feels really special. Looks of the ingredients have gone into cookbook photos!
Click HERE for my referral link to get $ off your first order!
Not Milk – This was the year of yummy matcha lattes and baking with Not Milk. It just tastes so good!
Nature’s Charm Condensed Oat Milk – For all your special baking needs especially when you need a non-coconut flavor!
Sri Mu – Award Winning whole-food vegan cheese. I tried the Imagine flavor and hope to try more this year! Buy at Rebel Cheese or Maha Market.
Karel Capek Tea – This is the cutest tea in the world! Created in Japan but available at these retailers that sell to US customers: Rainbowholic in Japan and Teadora in Singapore. Check out my unboxing video on YouTube HERE!
Burlington, Vermont -Yummy Nepali Momos at The Red Panda on Church St.
Albany, New York – Savory crepes at The Skinny Pancake
New York City – Dim Sum at Buddha Bodhai and fantastic vegan Italian food at John’s
Los Angeles, CA – Shojin – vegan omakase dinner with the perfect service and now closed pudding bar Pudu Pudu
Newtown (Sydney), Australia
Seattle, WA – Looking for an airbnb? Check out my sister’s place in Ballard – super clean and modern.
Brand-new! Spacious & Peaceful 3BR/2.5BA w/parking
This trip I went on a plant-based food tour in Pike Place Market. Chinatown is always a must and I like to eat at homey Chu Minh tofu. Kinokuniya Bookstore and Uwajimaya have my heart. Mighty O Donuts is always fantastic.
Esquina Tango – We’ve been taking salsa classes again and really enjoy the community at Esquina Tango. Their Havana Nights fundraiser may have been one of the most enjoyable events I’ve ever been to in recent years. This dance studio and community center is a non-profit! Come see us at class on Tuesday nights! A new student special for Jan 2023 is only $23 for unlimited classes!
3 mile walk almost everyday!
Wisdom of the Sages – A daily yoga podcast that will inspire you and make you laugh. I listen to this every day and am happy to be part of the growing global bhakti yoga community. Your spiritual path can be FUN, full of delicious AND compassionate food, music, dancing, art, philosophy and community!
The One You Feed – Feed the good wolf!
Astrology Now – I’m an Vedic astrology enthusiast and enjoy listening to Christine’s calm voice as she explains about the current energy, nakshatras (constellation your moon is in), and things to celebrate and look out for.
The Proof – Plant-based Nutrition with Simon Hill. Long episodes chock full of the latest science evidence on the benefits of a plant-based diet.
The Korean Vegan – So many delicious recipes full of tofu, veggies and kimchi! I love that Joanne likes potatoes too! I’ve cooked over half of the recipes in this book and the recipe on the cover for jjajangmyeon is a favorite!
The Essential Book of Vegan Bakes – Every time I see Holly Jade’s recipes on IG, I am mesmerized. As someone who doesn’t have a huge sweet tooth, I want to eat all her desserts. This book helps me not have orthorexia!
Popcats – My cat Mochiko is the best evil white kitty in the world! We brought her back to this fun, feline event at the Palmer Center.
Austin City Limits – It was my 1st time this year. I got to see Red Hot Chili Peppers but did not get to hear Anthony Kedis sing “Under The Bridge”!
Withings Scan Watch – Wanna have a smart watch that doesn’t look like a Black Mirror? I’ve had this for almost a year and it syncs perfect with my Google Pixel phone. It’s just beautiful and has both digital and analog watch hands. I love blue/indigo so the silicone watch band is perfect. Features SPO2, heart rate, tracks workout activity and duration, sleep monitoring, buzzes for phonecalls and reminds you to get up and move.
Pixel 7 – Been a Google Pixel user for 5 years! I love the latest version and Google Fi works perfectly for travel. When I went to Japan in 2016, my Pixel, GoogleFi and Google Maps was all I needed to get around.
Cuisinart Toaster Oven/Airfryer – For super fast meals! I have only used my regular oven to bake bread, homemade pizza or some desserts in the past year. Everything else like fries, roasted veggies, toast, frozen goods, TOFU, reheatables, all go in here. This has really made my life easier and keeps me from having to heat up a whole oven!
FeetUp – I can finally do inversions safely!
Ridwell – More recycling made easy! Email me if you would like a free month!
Austin Free Fridge – Made extra or have more food? Give food to your neighbors!
If you’ve actually read this far, you’ve got an amazing attention span or you must like me.
Here’s what I’m looking forward to in 2023
–Yoga Teacher Training – I’ve been practicing lots of different kinds of yoga for over 20 years and finally going to delve deeper. Wanna join the program I’m doing in South Austin? Being plant-based is highly recommended too. The lineage is based in Ashtanga and continues with focuses on meditation and yin/slow styles. First book to read is The World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle! Registration closes January 10th, 2023!
-Finishing the layout of Plant-Based Pacific! See CookBook Diary HERE
-Springtime in Austin with family and friends
-Seeing my daughter graduate as a straight-A student and starting a new journey!
-Moving in early summer!
I’d love to know what was the best of 2022 for you and what you are looking forward to. Gratitude makes a big difference and so does believing in the inherent goodness in those around us.
Wishing you the best in 2023!
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